FRISCO - FC Dallas needs a 2+ goal victory to advance or a 1-0 result to force PKs as they open up their Leg Two matchup against Tauro FC at Toyota Stadium tonight with a Quarterfinal spot on the line.
Knowing a single Tauro away goal would put the Panamanian club even further in the driver's seat for the series, Oscar Pareja has transitioned to a new look we've seen throughout the preseason for Leg Two.
The 3-5-2 Debut
Keeping things clean at the back while exploiting on the counter with numbers forward will be key for FCD tonight, and with that in mind we will see the official starting debut of the 3-5-2 formation with Reto Ziegler, Matt Hedges and Maynor Figueroa anchoring the back trio, with Ryan Hollingshead and Reggie Cannon in wing back roles. Both players Hollingshead and Cannon were involved in the attack through the flanks during last week's Leg One and will be called on to produce offensively when it counts. Carlos Gruezo and Victor Ulloa will once again patrol the defensive midfield with Maxi Urruti serving as the advanced striker, while Michael Barrios sits a little deeper and Mauro Diaz pulls the strings in the middle.
While a strong defensive shape is key early for Dallas, the bottom line is they need goals in Leg Two, especially late depending on how things go early. Tesho Akindele, Cristian Colman, Roland Lamah and new signing Santiago Mosquera are all available to spark the offense late should FCD be trailing in the series.
Win the Midfield
Dallas has spoken all week that Tauro will likely sit back and stay compact, much like they did in Leg One a week ago. As the match goes along, it will be up to the forward trio and the overlapping wing backs to create chances in the box and bring the offense. If the visitors can stay compact and break up FCD's lanes in the middle, they put themselves in a strong position to get through to the Quarterfinals.